Smith Continues Streak; Finishes 31st in Texas
FORT WORTH, Texas (April 5, 2009) -- Regan Smith finished 31st in Sunday's Samsung 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. It was the third race of the season for Smith and the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing team, which is competing part-time in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Though the Denver-Colo.-based team was slightly off its previous two performances of 21st (Daytona 500) and 19th (Las Vegas), Smith continued his impressive streak of running at the finish. He has finished every one of his 44 career Cup starts, dating back to the 2007 season.
"We weren't close enough with the car's handling at the start of the race and fell back early," said Smith, who was the 2008 Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year. "Due to the lack of cautions early, we didn't have the opportunity to adjust the car. The Furniture Row Chevy Impala SS did get better later in the race, but we were too far back to make any significant move in track position."
The Texas race was the team's first competition in more than a month - the last race was March 1 in Las Vegas.
"Our first and most important goal this weekend was to qualify and we did that," offered Smith. "We all feel the more we compete the more we'll learn and better we will get. We're both patient and realistic."
Smith and the No. 78 team are looking forward to the next Cup race -- April 18 at the one-mile Phoenix International Raceway.
"We had two good test sessions at the one-mile Pikes Peak International Raceway, which has similarities to Phoenix," noted the 25-year-old Smith. "You never know in this business, but the gut feeling around this team is that we're going to be better in Phoenix."
The Phoenix event is part of the team's current 13-race Sprint Cup schedule.
The Texas race winner was Jeff Gordon. Rounding out the top five in order were: Jimmie Johnson, Greg Biffle, Stewart and Matt Kenseth.